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NHL star taking leave of absence after Russian media report left him ‘shaken and concerned’

The Russian star is “shaken and anxious” following “unfounded allegations” made in opposition to him, in accordance with a team statement posted to Twitter.

The assertion refers to a report from Russian tabloid newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda through which a former coach of Panarin’s alleges that Panarin assaulted a girl in a Latvian bar in 2011.

“Artemi vehemently and unequivocally denies any and all allegations on this fabricated story,” Rangers officers stated within the assertion. “That is clearly an intimidation tactic getting used in opposition to him for being outspoken on latest political occasions.”

The Rangers stated Panarin, 29, is a goal for intimidation attributable to his political views, which have been essential of Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Panarin just lately made a social media post in help of jailed Putin opposition leader Alexey Navalny.

CNN has reached out to the Kremlin for remark.

NHL.com reported that the league “stated it’s supportive of Panarin and the Rangers, and it’ll proceed to watch the scenario.” The positioning didn’t quote anyone on the NHL by identify.

The NHL has not responded to CNN’s request for remark however has retweeted the Rangers’ assertion. CNN has reached out to Panarin’s agent, Paul Theofanous, for remark.

In six seasons, the left wing has scored 153 targets and had 280 assists.

Panarin has performed for 3 NHL groups — the Rangers, the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Chicago Blackhawks. He was chosen the league’s prime rookie in 2016 and has twice been chosen an all-star at season’s finish.

Earlier than enjoying within the NHL he was a member of Russian groups within the Kontinental Hockey League, which additionally has groups in Belarus, China, Finland, Kazakhstan and Latvia.

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